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Xero Webhooks

This guide covers how to use ngrok to integrate your localhost app with Xero by using Webhooks. Xero webhooks can be used to notify an external application whenever specific events occur in your Xero account.

By integrating ngrok with Xero, you can:

  • Develop and test Xero webhooks locally, eliminating the time in deploying your development code to a public environment and setting it up in HTTPS.
  • Inspect and troubleshoot requests from Xero in real-time via the inspection UI and API.
  • Modify and Replay Xero Webhook requests with a single click and without spending time reproducing events manually in your Xero account.
  • Secure your app with Xero validation provided by ngrok. Invalid requests are blocked by ngrok before reaching your app.

Step 1: Start your app

For this tutorial, we'll use the sample NodeJS app available on GitHub.

To install this sample, run the following commands in a terminal:

git clone
cd ngrok-webhook-nodejs-sample
npm install

This will get the project installed locally.

Now you can launch the app by running the following command:

npm start

The app runs by default on port 3000.

You can validate that the app is up and running by visiting http://localhost:3000. The application logs request headers and body in the terminal and responds with a message in the browser.

Step 2: Launch ngrok

Once your app is running successfully on localhost, let's get it on the internet securely using ngrok!

  1. If you're not an ngrok user yet, just sign up for ngrok for free.

  2. Download the ngrok agent.

  3. Go to the ngrok dashboard and copy your Authtoken.
    Tip: The ngrok agent uses the auth token to log into your account when you start a tunnel.

  4. Start ngrok by running the following command:

    ngrok http 3000
  5. ngrok will display a URL where your localhost application is exposed to the internet (copy this URL for use with Xero). ngrok agent running

Step 3: Integrate Xero

To register a webhook on your Xero account follow the instructions below:

  1. Access the Xero Developer site and sign in using your Xero account.

  2. Click one of the apps listed on the Apps page. If you don't have an app, create one by clicking New app.

  3. On the app page, click Webhooks on the left menu.

  4. On the Webhooks page, click the checkbox for Billing subscriptions, Contacts and Invoices, and then enter the URL provided by the ngrok agent to expose your application to the internet in the Delivery URL field (i.e. xero URL to Publish

  5. Click Send 'Intent to Receive'.

    Confirm your localhost app receives notification and logs both headers and body in the terminal.

  6. Click Save.

  7. Access the Xero dashboard site, sign in using your Xero account, and then select your organization in the drop-down menu.

  8. Click your organization Dashboard page, click Settings, click Connected Apps, and then confirm your app appears in the list of Connected apps.

If your app isn't connected to your organization execute the following steps:

  1. In a new browser tab, open the following URL: accounting.transactions openid profile email accounting.contacts accounting.settings&state=123

    Note: Replace the following with values copied from the Configuration page of your app on the Xero Developer site:

    • APP_CLIENT_ID: Your app Client id.
    • APP_REDIRECT_URI: Your app Redirect URIs.
  2. On the User Consent page, select your organization and then click Allow access.

Run Webhooks with Xero and ngrok

Xero sends different request body contents depending on the event that is being triggered. You can trigger new calls from Xero to your application by following the instructions below.

  1. Access the Xero dashboard site, sign in using your Xero account, and then select your organization in the drop down menu.

  2. On the organization Dashboard page, click Contacts at the top menu and then click New Contact.

  3. On the Add Contact page, fill up the Contact name, Account number, First Name, and Last Name fields, and then click Save & Close.

    Confirm your localhost app receives an event notification and logs both headers and body in the terminal.

Inspecting requests

When you launch the ngrok agent on your local machine, you can see two links:

  • The URL to your app (it ends with for free accounts or for paid accounts when not using custom domains)
  • A local URL for the Web Interface (a.k.a Request Inspector).

The Request Inspector shows all the requests made through your ngrok tunnel to your localhost app. When you click on a request, you can see details of both the request and the response.

Seeing requests is an excellent way of validating the data sent to and retrieved by your app via the ngrok tunnel. That alone can save you some time dissecting and logging HTTP request and response headers, methods, bodies, and response codes within your app just to confirm you are getting what you expect.

To inspect Xero's webhooks call, launch the ngrok web interface (i.e., and then click one of the requests sent by Xero.

From the results, review the response body, header, and other details:

ngrok Request Inspector

Replaying requests

The ngrok Request Inspector provides a replay function that you can use to test your code without the need to trigger new events from Xero. To replay a request:

  1. In the ngrok inspection interface (i.e. http://localhost:4040), select a request from Xero.

  2. Click Replay to execute the same request to your application or select Replay with modifications to modify the content of the original request before sending the request.

  3. If you choose to Replay with modifications, you can modify any content from the original request. For example, you can modify the eventType field inside the body of the request.

  4. Click Replay.

Verify that your local application receives the request and logs the corresponding information to the terminal.

Secure webhook requests

The ngrok signature webhook verification feature allows ngrok to assert that requests from your Xero webhook are the only traffic allowed to make calls to your localhost app.

Note: This ngrok feature is limited to 500 validations per month on free ngrok accounts. For unlimited, upgrade to Pro or Enterprise.

This is a quick step to add extra protection to your application.

  1. Access Xero Developer page and sign in using your Xero account.

  2. Click your app tile and then click Webhooks on the left menu.

  3. Copy the value of the Webhooks key.

  4. Restart your ngrok agent by running the command, replacing {your webhook key} with the value you have copied before:

    ngrok http 3000 --verify-webhook xero --verify-webhook-secret {your webhook key}
  5. Access the Xero dashboard and create a new contact.

Verify that your local application receives the request and logs information to the terminal.